MOH News
MOH to Apply the Australian Medical Coding System at All Health Facilities
15 January 2013
   Within the framework of the strenuous efforts exerted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in an endeavor to improve the health services, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is considering applying the Australian 10th Revision of the Classification (ICD-10-AM   ACHI/ACS) at all hospitals and health facilities, in implantation of the agreement signed between the Saudi Government and Australian Government. The Ministry, by adopting this method, is working on turning medical dealings into alphabetic and health codes (symbols), by way of converting medical information into numeric or numeric/alphabetic symbols, throughout which the medical report can be read to identify the disease or diseases suffered by the patient, as well as the medical procedures applied on him, and all the drugs and medical supplies given to him. It follows that all output symbols are enclosed in the medical report.
The Assistant Undersecretary of Hospital Affairs, Dr. Aqeel Al-Ghamdi, pointed out that medical coding enables specialists to convert medical terms, diseases, injuries and procedures into numeric and alphabetic symbols to classify deaths (causes of death), information about death, assessment of medical procedures and results of health care, and to be utilized by some medical institutions in quality assurance, planning, administrative affairs, research and education.
Dr. Al-Ghamdi went on to explain that medical coding is a way to properly describe and diagnose diseases and injuries, and to convert such information of description and diagnosis, afterwards, into certain medical symbols, in concordance with the patient's medical report. The coding process begins with a full review of the medical report, in addition to reviewing medical e-records if available, so as to pick out the information of relevance.
“This system concords with the vision, objectives and strategy of the Ministry of Health and the National Project for Comprehensive and Integrated Health Care,” Dr. Al-Ghamdi continued, “so that it could effectively participate in reinforce the decision making process, which will in turn help achieve sound planning, development, equitable distribution of resources, improvement of quality, and provision of high-quality health services for beneficiaries. The system is also concordant with the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO), which aim to facilitate the submission of annual coded reports on diseases, especially the infectious and communicable ones, as well as the causes of death in such countries as shown by this classification.”
“And in an effort to prompt the adoption of such a modern, scientific, well-organized administrative system,” stated Mr. Hassan al-Bishi, a coding specialist and certified manager at the Australian organization, “the Ministry of Health has recently organized a second training course for MOH employees on the Australian 10th Revision of the Classification (ICD-10-AM   ACHI/ACS).”
“Besides,” he added, “the Ministry has organized a series of specialized courses and workshops for training MOH employees on the WHO's standards, in preparation for unify the ICD at all medical reports departments of all hospitals and primary healthcare centers across the Kingdom.”
Al-Bishi said, “The Ministry boasts its highly qualified coding team, who have been granted scholarships in the domain of medical reports management, currently known as: “health information management”, in addition to international training programs on diseases at the National Center for Health Information Technology and Research at Queensland University of Technology, in Australia.”
“The MOH coding team has been trained by a team accredited by the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO – FIC),” Mr. Al-Bishi concluded.

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